Thursday, April 19, 2007

Fish Lips

How wrong I was...

How wrong we all were. It's now being reported that in fact our old friend Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne) will NOT be voicing Galactus in the new Fantastic Four movie. He will actually be voicing the Silver Surfer.

Now, while I do really like Fishhead's voice I have to say I'm a little perturbed by this turn of events. I think Doug Jones is a good actor. He is the body behind the CG for the Surfer. He also was the man behind the body and voice of Abe Sapien in del Toro's Hellboy, and motion capture for the Faun in the mesmerizing Pan's Labyrinth. He is a solid actor who I think can put in a decent performance. Why exactly do we need his voice changed? Does he not inflect enough gravitas for the role? I think most people who know, see the Surfer as a thoughtful man, yes hes a man of action too, but he was always very deep in personal reflection and meditation. I don't know how much of that is coming through in this film, but I never really thought he needed the kind of deep, commanding voice Fishburne is sure to provide. He is a character whose deeds speak more towards his character than his voice... Maybe I just feel bad for Doug Jones though. Like the guy put in all this work, only to be screwed out of the vocal performance. It's like how everyone gives James Earl Jones all the credit for Darth Vader. Granted Vader's voice was a HUGE part of the character, but you shouldn't just discount the contributions of David Prowse. I don't like seeing actors gypped out of a spotlight like that.

Finally, I wonder about the CG work. The Weta guys are doing the Surfer using basically the same technology as they did for Gollum in the LOTR trilogy. I know that they did a lot of work in those films to make sure that Gollum's mouth moved in precisely the same way that Andy Serkis' did while filming. That was one of the subtle things that helped make Gollum so amazingly believable. So what exactly does this mean for the Silver Surfer? On the set when Doug Jones was filming did he actually speak the lines? Are we going to have unmatched dialogue? I can't imagine they'd do that. Maybe the Surfer doesn't move his lips when he speaks. I could see them doing something lame like that. But if that's the case, why does he even have a mouth. I don't know when this decision was made to put The Fishman in the film but do you think there's time to put his Fish lips onto the Surfer's body? Will that even work?

If the reports are true and the film is really as bad as it unfortunately sounds, then we might really only have the cool looking Silver Surfer to enjoy on screen. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this development doesn't screw that up for us too.

As a side note, the word is going around the net now that Galactus will look like a big scary cloud. This jives with what I had heard from my friend who worked on the film, and is exactly what I was suggesting the last time I blogged about this. Hopefully it'll work on screen, but I have my doubts...


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